The ”Jobs NOW: Arkansas Works When We Do Summit” brings together national leaders in the Manufacturing, Construction, Trucking and Agriculture industries and Arkansas’s Economic Development, Education and Workforce communities to shine light on the impacts the Skills Gap crisis is having on our State and its industries, and highlights partnerships created, solutions found and successes achieved in pockets of Arkansas.

In Arkansas today, 49 percent of skilled-trade workers are 45 and older, and nearly 18 percent are between the ages of 55 and 64. Compare that to the national statistics and Arkansas finds itself in the majority, with more than half of U.S. states in the same or worse shape. Additionally, two in three parents feel that a career requiring a skilled trade is not for their child, and fewer and fewer children are considering these career paths as a respectable option. Today, this Skills Gap accounts for 600,000 high-wage-earning jobs left unfilled across the U.S., tens of thousands of those jobs here in our state. With each passing decade, this Gap will only widen. This dilemma hinders Arkansas’s growth potential and hurts Arkansas’s businesses, cities, towns and people. NOW is the time that Arkansans fix Arkansas’s Skills Gap problem.

9:00 AM Welcome: Randy Zook, President & CEO, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce
9:15 AM Opening Remarks: Governor Mike Beebe, Governor of Arkansas
9:30 AM Morning Keynote: Jennifer McNelly, President & CEO, Manufacturing Institute
10:45 AM Morning Breakout Session: Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner, Economic Leadership & Economic Advisor to Southern Governor’s Association
12:00 PM Lunch Keynote Arm Chair Discussion: Phil Simon, Global Technical & Product Training, John Deere Company,
Steve Williams, President & CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc. 
and Bill Hannah, Chairman of the Board, Nabholz Construction Services, Inc. Moderated by: Roby Brock, Talk Business & Politics.
1:15 PM Afternoon Breakout Session: Panel Discussion with Joe Quinn, Senior Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, Walmart, Inc.; Chris Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman, Delta Regional Authority Glen Fenter, President, Mid-South Community College, Tori D. Huggins
2:45 PM Closing Keynote: Dr. Willard Daggett, Founder & Chairman, International Center for Leadership in Education
3:45 PM Wrap Up Randy Zook, President & CEO, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce

Click on a speaker's name to go to their profile.